There are around 2500 herbalists in the UK. So, if you are trying to find a local herbalist, doing an internet search will likely give you some options. Google helps out a bit and offers you a "herbalist near me" search. Click this, and you might even have a list of websites for local herbal practitioners. But, how do you choose? This article will explain how.
When you are looking for a herbalist, it is a good idea to shop around. But do you know what to look for?
You care about your health. You want good advice. So, make sure your chosen practitioner is a professional.
Most herbalists will offer a quick chat so that you can get to know each other.
Finding a professional
Did you know that in the UK, anyone can call themselves a herbalist? Some herbalists have extensive training. The same is not true for all herbal practitioners. Some may have never done a formal course in herbalism or medicinal plants.
Check credentials such as herbal medicine qualifications. Or, for membership of professional herbalist associations. And you can ask about insurance.
As an example, here is a summary of my qualifications and training as a medical herbalist.
Perhaps the best way to find a reputable herbalist is to ask people you know. Can anyone recommend a herbalist? A good word can be even more important if you are looking for help with a specific condition.
In many areas, there are often support groups that get together and discuss a particular health condition. So, joining a support group could be an excellent way to determine if anyone has seen a herbalist for your specific health issue.
However, finding you know someone with the same ailments as you does not mean that their herbal remedy is correct for you. You see, a professional herbal practitioner will produce a bespoke treatment specifically for you. Or at the very least a carefully chosen combination of herbal products. In other words, a herb mixture tailored to your constitution, medical history and medication. So, herbal formulas are rarely the same, even for a patient with the same health problem as you.
Find a reputable herbalist
Another ideal way to find a reputable herbal therapist is to check on the registers of professional herbalists.
In the UK, the longest-running professional association is the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). They have high standards for membership and demand continuing professional development to maintain that membership.
Check their register for a medical herbalist near you.
Other professional associations include:
The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP) is another professional membership organisation in the UK. It sets the highest standards for practice. All members are qualified to at least university level 6. And, undergo a minimum of 500 hours of clinical training.
Phytotherapy is the practice of modern western herbal medicine. It combines contemporary scientific and evidence-based herbal practice with traditional knowledge and clinical experience. Core to the CPP's mission is the integration of western herbal medicine with mainstream conventional medical practice.
Check their register for herbalists near you.
I admit that I have a bias towards the above herbalist associations. I am a member of both. But, here are some others:
Association of Master Herbalists. A practitioner in this association may practice a blend of natural healing that includes herbalism and naturopathic techniques.
Check their register for herbalists near you.
The Unified Register of herbal practitioners is an international register of professional herbalists. A practitioner in this association may practice a traditional system, such as Chinese, Ayurvedic, Tibetan or Unani Tibb.
Check their register of practitioners.
The Register of Chinese Medicine. Most herbalists on this register practice a range of traditional Chinese medicine therapies such as acupuncture, herbal therapy and tuina. Follow this link to find your nearest member.
I can't find a herbalist near me
Though this page is about finding your local medical herbalist, there is always the possibility that you can't find someone in your area.
In this case, you have a couple of options. You could travel a bit further. It is not uncommon for a patient to travel some distance to consult someone they trust. So, as long as you can travel, someone local is not your only choice.
In addition, many herbalists now offer telephone or online consultations. These appointments are very convenient. But bear in mind that the therapist will either have to post your herbal medicine or direct you to another source.
Most professional herbalists will keep a well-stocked herbal pharmacy at their herbal clinic. In this case, they can dispense your herbal medicine directly after a consultation. You will usually find that herbalists will stock the best quality herbal medicine. Your prescription might include herbal tea, tinctures, herbal creams and so on.
Of course, there is another option. The practitioner may post your prescription directly to you. Alternatively, they could direct you to online suppliers of quality herbal supplements with a recommendation of what to buy
It is also worth considering that some herbal practitioners also practice other forms of complementary medicine. For instance, they may have nutrition training, or practice homeopathy or acupuncture.
In addition, a herbal practitioner may specialise in herbal therapeutics for a particular health issue. For instance, a therapist may specialise in women's or men's health, diabetes, gut health or insomnia.
Whether you are hoping to achieve optimum health or just want to have more energy and less pain. I hope this article helps you to understand the differences between practitioners. As well as showing you how you might find someone with the diagnostic skills and clinical practice experience with medicinal plants. After all, you can find a lot of medical advice on the internet. Some of it may be relevant to you. But, more likely it is not. It is better to find someone that is experienced in a holistic approach. Someone that knows how to use this ancient practice in the modern-day and help you avoid any potential adverse reactions. For this, you need to find a reputable herbalist.